His name is Maleek Irons and the W.J. Mouat Hawks tailback is the single most dangerous football player in all of B.C.
The Mount Douglas Rams face the Hawks in the provincial AAA semifinals tomorrow (Nov. 24), 5:30 p.m. at UBC’s Thunderbird stadium. It’s a rematch of last year’s Subway Bowl, when the Rams rallied from behind to win 42-35.
The Rams have a core of excellent players, including “potential” AAA Player of the Year Marcus Davis and a cast of all-stars, but none are as central a figure in Saturday’s game as Irons.
Without Irons, the Hawks would come unhinged. Problem is, he’s been unstoppable, including a five-touchdown game against the Rams, a 52-49 Hawks’ win on Oct. 13.
“Mouat has a tremendous offensive line who are quick enough to get to the linebacker level and obviously an outstanding running back in Irons,” Townsend said.
“We know all too well what (Irons) is capable of. He has tremendous leg drive and the ability to break through tackles and admittedly we did not do a good job in tackling him in our first meeting.”
Last week Irons scored a season-high seven touchdowns to lead the Hawks to a 55-22 victory over the West Vancouver Highlanders in the B.C. AAA quarterfinals. In the process, Irons set a new single-season rushing record of 3,184 yards in 11 games, surpassing the 3,173 yards registered by Reg Bradshaw of the Centennial Centaurs back in 2001.
Irons has also scored a mind-boggling 43 touchdowns.
“Every time we play there’s always sparks that are flying. It’s going to be another good game,” Marcus Davis said.
“They’re not as strong in the passing game, so if we shut down the running game we’ll come out with a victory.”
The Rams are one of the youngest AAA teams in the province, with just nine players set to graduate from the 30 man roster this year. The Rams’ attack is equally balanced, with Davis and Brian Dowds at receiver and the duo of Mason Swift and Julian Luis at running back.
The Rams are coming off a 45-20 quarterfinal win over the Terry Fox Ravens at Westhills Stadium on Friday (Nov. 16).
The junior Rams also made the AAA semifinals, and played yesterday (Nov. 22) at UBC against the junior Terry Fox Ravens.
Provincial Rams senior All-Stars 2012
Offensive lineman Zach Wilkinson Quarterback Ashton MacKinnon, Linebacker Mason Swift, Defensive Back Juilan Luis, Receiver Brian Dowds won the Big Kahuna Scholarship.
Trio of junior Rams footballers headed to Texas
Junior Rams running back Manny Lopez, defensive lineman Byron MacKinnon and offensive lineman Jesse Woollard, have been selected to 15-and-under Team Canada for the U.S. Army All-American games, held in San Antonio in January.
– with files from Dan Kanvig